UNLAWFUL, ARBITRARY AND EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS
Dear Christof Heyns;
APPLICANTS : On Behalf of People’s Democratic Party, Co-Presidents;
SELAHATTİN DEMİRTAŞ – FİGEN YÜKSEKDAĞ
Barbaros Mah. Tahran Cad. Büklüm Sok. No:117 – Kavaklıdere/Ankara Turkey
CRIMES: Unlawful, Arbitrary and Extrajudicial Executions
INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BEING CHARGED WITH CRIMES: Desicion making authorities on the very top of the hierarchy occupying Executive Offices of the Republic of Turkey
SUBJECT OF APPLICATION: Our request asking for an examination of the chronologically described massacres below occurred as a result of extrajudicial killings and civilian casualties beginning from 20.07.2015
DATES OF CRIMES OF EVENTS IN THE APPLICATION: 20.07.2015 and later
INTRODUCTION AND CONTENT OF DEMANDS:
Our Party has been established on 15.10.2012 formally and is represented with 80 Members of Parliament in the Parliament of the Republic of Turkey.
Peoples Democratic Party is describing itself in its party constitution in the following way:
“The Party is a political party that is comprised of all the oppressed and the exploited; all of the excluded and ignored people and the faith communities, women, workers, laborers, peasants, youth, unemployed, pensioners, the disabled, LGBT, migrants; those whose habitats are destroyed; with intellectuals, writers, artists and scientists come together and struggling with all these segments, aimed to form the people’s democratic government in order to eliminate all types of oppression, exploitation, elimination of discrimination and to build a life worthy of human dignity.”
A war process that is going on within the borders of the Republic of Turkey between PKK and the Republic of Turkey’s armed forces (army-police-other security units) in the last 30 years on the basis of demands for political, social, economic and cultural rights and source of the problems in these areas, in the form of low density civil conflict and in fight, has since taken a course of negotiations which is developed form a ceasefire and evolved into a peace process in the past 3 years. By assuming a mediating role in this important process which is followed by national and international public opinion, our party carries out a strong political and diplomatic work in order for the process to achieve a continuous ceasefire, disarmament and result in a lasting peace. This peace process that is taken place inside the country has achieved extremely important milestones and been undergoing a major crisis in the past year particularly following the increased effectiveness of the ISIS terrorist organization in Turkey’s neighboring countries Syria and Iraq, and the attacks and massacres committed by this organization in cities where Kurdish people lives. After 20 July 2015, the ceasefire between the conflicting parties was ended. Although the clashes began on the same day and in the aftermath, human casualties were not limited with the conflicting parties and armed members alone. Particularly the killing that are directed against civilians, extrajudicial execution, massacres, forests and village burnings, this internal conflict and war is also directed against those who have no relation with the opponents and in this respect the Geneva Convention is being violated wholly and clearly this is a declaration that it would be violated again from now on.
We are asking your office to initiate a review, particularly with regards to events specified in the following. In terms of domestic peace and with respect to the resumption of extremely critical and dangerous conflict and war period, Turkey once again is confronted with extrajudicial execution of civilians and war crimes as well as identification and determination of those responsible for these crimes. Because of events occurring in our country and region in the cases of – civilians killed during the internal conflict and war– casualty of civilians in action- being targeted and criminal acts – our party have undertaken a mission in the creation of public opinion, the operation of the judicial process, both in the field of human rights and in the creation of policies for the protection of civilians in the conflicts and in this regard for realizing this mission it has made a great effort.
For the “human society” that is created as a result of long struggles, with the development of collective wisdom, conscience and sensitivity of the humanity, it is one of our political and social objectives to develop policies against the crimes infringed the longest and continuously in history, with such responsibility that would ensure an access to mechanisms which will prevent “impunity”. However, especially because we live in a country and the geography in which pogroms are committed by states, the citizens are left with the option of the legal safeguards of international mechanisms. It is clear that in regard to inclusion of such mechanism, increasing its effectiveness, development of the level of acceptability, the application process in terms of the states, and removing restrictions on judicial matters we will not remain passive and idle. The “Impunity” applications that are revealing our national justice system and the image of the judicial system as well as our past experience about the behavior of the prosecutor’s office regarding to these events we have reported, unfortunately confirms our belief that the state and government does not have the political will to identify and charge the perpetrators. Relatives of Victims also see the possibility of conducting an effective investigation is fading away each day. In this context, we believe that it is our political responsibility to bring these matters to the attention of the Rapporteur in order for the prosecutor of the international criminal court to act upon events raised in the application.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE EVENTS SUBJECT OF THIS APPLICATION :
An Extrajudicial Killing on 23 July 2015 in Kilis
As of today, a woman from Rojava whose name later identified to be Firas Feyad was killed while trying to come to Turkey in order to meet their vital daily needs from the Afrin canton by a soldier belong to the Turkish armed forces on the border of Kilis, Gaziantep province on July 23 2015. The event is known as an explicit extrajudicial execution. While there is no investigation started about the killing, identification information of the victim is also could not be obtained.
On 25 July 2015 Extrajudicial Executions that has taken place in Cizre district of provincial Şırnak.
On 25 July 2015, 23 years old Abdullah Özdal who was gravely wounded at the Cizre district of the provincial Şırnak has lost his life. Abdullah Özdal lost his while he was taken to the hospital in Diyarbakir with an ambulance after he was wounded during a demonstration at the Yafes neighbourhood of Cizre where the protestors are being fired on by police.
On 26 July 2015 a suspicious child killing took place in Diyarbakır Province
On the Öğretmenler Caddesi (Teacher’s Avenue) in Bağlar district of Diyarbakır, a 11 years old Beytullah Aydın fall to his death from the 7th floor of an apartment building where he was running from a pursuit of police. Based on an information we have learned from the family of the child and from news reports, Police has attacked youth demonstrator protesting against Turkeys air atttacks and custody operations. After the attack, police chase Baitullah Aydin with 3 other children who took refuge in the Değirmen apartment building on the Öğretmenler Caddesi (Avenue). Running from a police attack Aydin come out to the7th floor of the apartment with his friends and try to cross to the roof other apartment during which time he falls into the apartment space and loses his life. M. B. (14) who lives in the Değirmen Apartment building said that he run out of the house after he heard a loud noise, “I was so scared due to loud noise. Then I heard voices coming out of the building. The friends of the boy who lost his life was saying ‘Baitullah wake up’. I located the key for the woodshed, opened the woodshed and informed the neighbors ‘Come on lets take the child out, ‘I said. The child was covered with blood. Everywhere of his body was crashed. I tried to lifting up but could not because he was very heavy. Then I called our above neighbor. Then when I took the child on my lap he took a breath once and then did not take any. He had no pulse and heart beats at all. Subsequently, events research teams arrived. But they did not conduct any investigation because of the dense gas and left immediately.” Said in a statement. The investigation which claims that the police have nothing to do with the incident are still continues.
On 26 July 2015 an unsolved murder in Mersin:
Mersin resident 35 years old Bülent Ecevit Güngör was hit in the head by an object while sitting on the balcony of his house during demonstrations protesting against Suruç massacre, air attacks and unlawful detensions by the state in Mersin and lost his life at hospital he was taken to. The incident took place during demonstrations at the Şevket Sümer neighbourhood of the Akdeniz district in the Provincial Mersin in late afternoon.
Eyewitnesses stated that Güngör was hit by a teargas flare thrown by police. According to an eyewitness S.D. who spoke after the incident, “during the time police interviened with the demonstrators, black and white, two armored police vehicles entered the street where Güngör’s house is located”. After youths dispesed upon police intervention the police continue with throwing teargas to the right and left randomly, S.D stated. “Screams broke out with the disposal of capsules. I heard Güngör’s young child screamed! ‘babaaa/fatherrr’ ” S.D. said.
While the investion of the case is still continuing, the police is refusing to take responsibility of the crime atributed for the reason of the demise. Another eyewitness stated that the activists dispersed after police intervention and there were only three of the activists left. And the police were throwing teargas on the streets. And whatever happened did happened after that,” she said. Again, eyewitnesses stated that a person was taken into custody; a detained individual was also allegedly detained because he was an eyewitness. While the investigation of the case is ongoing the police do not accept responsibility attributed to the cause of death.
On 26 July 2015 an extrajudicialexecution in Mardin
A university student Seyithan Dede lost his life as a result of police firing on a crowd during a protest on July 26, 2015 in the Nusaybin district of Mardin.
On 29 July 2015 an extrajudicial execution in Ağrı.
On 29 July 2015, police team belongs to the Anti-Terror Branch (Terörle Mücadele Şubesi) and the special forces raided a house in the Fevzi Çakmak Mahallesi (neightbourhood) in Ağrı. Three individuals in the house were executed during the raid. Those killed were Sezai Yaşar and Ahmet Yaşar brothers and Mirzettin Göktürk registered at the Diyadin district of Ağrı province. Contrary to the police claims, it is clear that these individuals were living with their parents and killed in their own house. While there is no sign of resistance of reponse to the police on the crime scene, there is also no evidence or indication of victims being armed.
On 29 July 2015 an Extrajudicial Execution in Şırnak Province
On 29 July 2015 between 23:00-23:30 pm in the Cizre district of Şırnak a civilian vehicle in which Hasan Nerse was also a passanger was fired on by police when it entered the Nusaybin Avenue where the driver lost control hitting a sidewalk before its stop. Security forces continued firing on pasangers exiting the vehicle as a result 17 years old Hasan Nerse wounded in various places in his body. Severe injured, unable to move and medically should not be moved, the security forces handcuffed Hasan Nerse and tied his feet.
In the meantime, Hasan Nerse has been fired on again and while his hands and feet are tied he was forced to wait more than an half hour, wounded and losing blood until the ambulance arrive. Security forces also took photographs of Hasan Nerse during this time, and shared on social media with the words of hatred and animosity. When the ambulance arrived, no health worker intervene with the wounded, none of them get of the ambulance, while security forces throw the wounded into ambulances like a sack. Wounded Hasan Nerse lost his life as a result of this event.
THE REASON FOR THE APPLICATION:
All of incidents that are subject of this application are being evaluated and considered by us as unlawful, arbitrary and extrajudicial executions.
The statement of the representative of the government and security bureaucracy relating to the incidents in question, after the events are raising serious questions and doubts about a just and fair judicial process. In regards to the incidents in which civilians are being targeted and killed during conflict times, the decision making capacity of the judicial system is under the control of the government. In reference to the events that the government itself is responsible for, along with reluctance of conducting investigations and prosecutions which would leave the government in difficult situations, the government also plays a preventive role in clarification of events by dragging the judicial proceedings, hiding information and documents from the judicial authorities. As we have described in the events above, government representatives are clearly hinting that no judicial proceedings would be taking place about the real perpetrators by denying the role of the police-military and other public officials and government agencies.
In terms of similar events that have taken place before the governments of the Republic of Turkey to date have not carried out a just and fair investigation and a judicial procedure.
in similar events The government’s approach and disclosure after the events that are subject of this application and its initiatives towards clearing potential perpetrators, by authorizing a confidentiality regarding proceeding on the investigation file is aimed for preventing family and lawyers of the victims obtaining court documents and files and create difficulty in searching a justice.
In the above-mentioned events UN Convention Decisions concerning the right to life in terms of extrajudicial killings are being violated.LEGAL DOCUMENTS :
1. UN Condition
2. UN Human Rights Declaration
3. UN Deisions
4. 1949 Genova Convention
5. 1907 Lahey Convention
6. Other Documents
In light of the above findings, the investigation about the reported incidents should be launched within the UN mechanisms. Although our main goal and concern is the identification and the prosecution of perpetrators who are responsible of these events at the level of national hierarchy, the judiciary and the government administration in the country we live still implements the policy of impunity strongly in regards to civilian deaths and extrajudicial executions.
Again, one of our most basic fears is the possibility of such extra-judicial executions and mass killings of civilians during this conflict are increasingly strong. At this point, we value the sanctions and discouraging power of international institutions and mechanisms that will be operated.
As stated these reasons, and as the applicant in the statement, we are calling upon your office for the investigation of the unlawful, arbitrary and extrajudicial killings which have been specified in this application and would take place hereafter.
Selahattin Demirtaş & Figen Yüksekdağ